Thursday, January 08, 2009


Normal, what is it, and what does it mean to us? It is a question that I was posed with today while in conversation with someone who is in the same boat as me. Paraplegia. We were talking about things that I am going through because I am new at this and she has been dealing with it since she could remember. I was talking about these new braces that were robotic. They are still in the prototype/research stage and the company is still not mass marketing them, but I was so hyped that something like that was out there and that it was possible that one day I could have them and I could walk. I could get back to "normal."

I was telling her about these things, and she was like, "that's so cool. Maybe when they come out you can walk and be normal again. I'm not going to. I am done with that stuff."

I was like okay. Then she went on.

"Normal for me is living in the chair and everything. I have been doing it since I can remember. I never did walk like, so the chair is normal. 'Normal' for you is walking around and doing things. For me it is the chair and I am cool with it."

I wasn't sure how to react. First I was like, don't you want to be like everyone else and normal. That probably the pig headed part of me coming out. Then I thought about what she said. She had gotten used to this life, and she could see that I still haven't let go of what my life once was. That I was looking at these braces as a way back to normality.

So I guess when you look at "normal," it depends on where your normal is coming from. It is normal for a person who works in the coal mine who is living paycheck to paycheck to exist in that life. If you put someone like Paris Hilton in a situation where she has no money like she does and help in life like she does and she had to sink or swim, we can all see the brick sinking to the bottom of the pool. She would be crying, loudly at that too, to have everything go back to normal.

I guess everything is perception.

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